Classroom Management

How to Remember Student Names

With class rosters anywhere between 200-800, art teachers are the masters at remembering student names, but it sure isn’t easy! Some teachers use little name tents or name tags at first to help them remember. For some reason, this method never works for me, because I rely on the name tag too much and never really concentrate on remembering the name!

My trick? Alphabetize the students by first name!

When I get a new group of incoming kindergartners, I seat them alphabetically by first name. When Cory, Cody, and Carmen are all sitting together, knowing their names start with C is a good reminder!

To make this process faster, use the “sort” feature in the word processing program you prefer. Simply highlight your list, and it will put the names in ABC order for you. Easy!

I already know the names of my 1st – 5th graders, but if you’re new to a school, this is a great strategy to use for all of your classes!

I also organize my seating charts by day, not by grade level, so I can easily find a certain class,or just keep the seating chart and grade book (which I house together) open for that day’s teaching. It helps! I secure these with rings and put them on a clipboard. This gives me the flexibility to add pages, change things around and flip the chart quickly.

I do blank, hand- written seating charts designed for my triangle shaped room (old school) and use pencil. I move kids around as I see fit throughout the year and want to keep a current copy on hand at all times, especially for subs. Erasing and changing the second I make a seating change for behavior or accommodation is very handy.

Any other seating chart or name memory tips for art teachers out there? 

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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